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BizReport : Advertising archives : June 02, 2010

Placecast ready to clean up location data sets for marketers

Launched nearly three months ago, Placecast's new MatchAPI is gaining traction in the mobile realm as marketers move into location data. But there is a problem in the location data arena according to Placecast: some of the information available is 'dirty'. Placecast's MatchAPI is set to clean up the data space for mobile marketers.

by Kristina Knight

placecast.jpgLocation based entities across the mobile space are signing up to have cleaned data from Placecast's new MatchAPI. Sites such as Buzzd, AlikeList and WCities are among the first to sign up.

What is 'cleaned' data? According to Placecast, up to 40% of the data in location data sets are inaccurate. Dirty. Their new platform, MatchAPI, cleans location data sets to reduce the amount of inaccurate information in the space. This give marketers better traction and a better way to target based on location information. Placecast estimates that of the 20 million data records they manage up to 1.5 million contain inaccurate information, a big problem for marketers.

The platform works by first identifying the different ways to write, say or indicate an address and verifying them so that the different ways to writing an address point to the same location. For instance, an address entered 102 S. 2nd Street would also include the listings 102 South 2nd, 102 S. Second Street and other variations as long as the business was verified as being at that location. The platform then maps the locations so that everyone can find the business.

Local listings are very important for small businesses. The problem is that the business owner might enter the address one way, a customer another way and so on and so on. By aggregating and locating all of that information, verifying it and then releasing it, the MatchAPI makes it simpler for consumers to find a local business.

"We have been using the real-time APIs for the past few weeks to integrate different data sources with our constantly evolving location data set," says Fraser Campbell, CEO of premium content provider WCities. "We're impressed with the MatchAPI functionality and how easy it is to use--it's freeing up resources for us to focus on other areas of our business."

So far the interface is only available for North American data sets, but more locations will be added soon.

Tags: local business information, online advertising, online data, Placecast

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